Early signs of cardiac disease such as heart murmurs and abnormal heartbeat patterns known as arrhythmias can be heard through a stethoscope. Discovering these initial indicators of trouble ahead can lead to identifying and treating the underlying condition before it becomes a more serious health threat. If serious arrhythmias are detected, we can do an electrocardiogram to determine the extent of the problem. We may also take your pet’s blood pressure using either a pressure cuff or Doppler device and/or an ultrasound.
Health issues such as infections, obstructive diseases and other problems can also be detected by listening to your pet’s lungs. The doctor can also assess the overall pulmonary health of your pet. If lung sounds do not seem to be normal, a digital chest x-ray can be taken to determine if there is pathology.
Examining your pet’s teeth and mouth is an important part of preventing dental disease, which is one of the most common health concerns in pets. Very young animals, such as kittens and puppies, also need to be checked to ensure they are developing an appropriate bite and that they are losing their baby teeth at the right time. We also take the time to discuss proper home dental care with you.
All diseases follow relatively predictable processes and if found early can be more easily treated. Ocular conditions, which can also be prevented through regular care and screenings, are no exception. We can also test with a tonometer to assess risk for glaucoma.
As with dental disease, ear disease is relatively common in many types of pets. Issues such as low-grade allergies, yeasts, reactions to certain foods, mites and other parasites can all cause and contribute to otitis or ear disease. Though you may feel this is an area that can be well-handled at home, the fact is that many ear diseases are difficult to detect and require medical treatment.
By feeling the skin and body, we are looking for unusual lumps or swellings as well as evaluating for skin discolorations, lesions or patterns of hair loss or thinning. These can indicate the presence of more systemic problems, especially metabolic diseases and cancer, which most commonly occur in middle-aged animals, but can occur in young animals as well.
By examining the joints, legs and other areas of the body, we are able to evaluate for swelling, decreased muscle tone and variations in muscle size between the legs. We also observe your pet’s gait for developmental issues. In puppies, we look for early indications of hip or elbow problems. For older pets, we look for signs of arthritis, which can be well-treated if found early.
A complete physical includes a heartworm test, fecal flotation test for intestinal parasites, urine analysis, and a red blood cell count as anemia (decrease in the number of red blood cells) can indicate the presence of a number of disease processes. For pets six years of age or older, we also perform a complete blood cell count and a chemistry profile in order to create a baseline of systemic health and to detect any emergent disease processes.
Prevention is best managed with one of the many veterinary approved flea and tick products on the market. There are flea and tick topical treatments, collars, and shampoos – each made to address specific needs. Roosevelt general well-care visits will include a flea and tick screening and will make recommendations on the appropriate approach for your specific pets and risk factors.
Vaccines have long proven their effectiveness at preventing diseases that would otherwise be fatal to our pets. However, Roosevelt Veterinary Center Veterinarians, believe that a well-balanced approach to the care of your pet should include the proper vaccines for your pet’s lifestyle, no less or no more.